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Piano, Organ & Other Keyboard Instruments

All enquiries to the Section Co-Ordinator
Mrs Fiona Austen, 07724 903212, Email

Fiona Austen studied solo piano at the Royal No More ...

Fiona Austen studied solo piano at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester after studying as a specialist musician at Wells Cathedral School.  Since then she has enjoyed a long and varied career as a music teacher and performer, working in a number of schools throughout the UK and giving recitals in many different venues. 

She is also a harpist, and currently teaches both piano and harp in three local schools as well as privately.  Fiona took part in Music Festivals herself as a child, and has since entered her own pupils for Festivals many times. 

As a passionate teacher, she loves preparing pupils for Festivals and seeing the inspiration they gain from the experience of performing and hearing others perform, sharing a love of music together

Sometimes Levels are given rather than grades. For details please click here

GUIDANCE

Where reference has been made either to a specific grade, or to terms such as elementary, intermediate etc, or to a level expressed in Grades, it is expected that entrants, parents, and especially teachers, will bear in mind that it is in the spirit of the festival to try to adhere carefully to the standards suggested by the the relevant grade.  If in any doubt about the level of a piece then teachers should not hesitate to contact the Keyboard Section Co-ordinator who will be happy to give guidance.  

Whilst it is obviously acceptable to play an exam piece in the festival, wider repertoire is strongly encouraged, in the context of the above advice.

Candidates may play only one piece in each class, unless the description of the class expressly states otherwise.

Within any class, the adjudicator will pay more heed to the standard of the performance than to the level of difficulty of the piece. 

Adjudicator: Michael Johnson B.Mus (London), PGCE (Cambridge), ARCM (piano) ARCM (piano) ARCM (singing)

Michael studied singing, violin, and piano at the Royal College of Music and at Cambridge where he was a choral exhibitioner at Jesus College.

For the past fifty years he has taught gifted young people during which time many have gone on to professional careers in music.

He was formerly consultant in Singing and Piano at the Universities of Bath and Plymouth and has been a practical examiner and mentor for ABRSM for 45 years during which time he examined in more than twenty countries overseas.

Michael has also spent much of his career as an administrator: during the 1980/90s he was Chief Music Manager for Leeds City Council, General Manager of St David’s Hall, Cardiff and Director of Plymouth Pavilions in Devon.

Presently he is Director of the Devizes Eisteddfod, a five-day competitive festival in Wiltshire. In 2022 he retired as a member of the adjudicator’s panel of the British & International Federation of Festivals after 25 years’ service.

Throughout his career Michael has directed choirs: until June 2023 he was Director of the West Devon Chorale in Plymouth and is presently conductor of the Philomel Singers, a female choir based in Trowbridge.

Michael is our Adjudicator for both Keyboard and Instrumental Music sections.

Where Levels are given rather than grades, approximate levels are:

  • Beginner: Pre Grade 1 & Grade 1
  • Elementary: Grades 2 & 3
  • Intermediate: Grades 4 - 6
  • Advanced: Grades 7 & 8
  • Open: Post Grade 8